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BankTracker digs into bank behind Waters investigation

Posted: Aug. 9, 2010 | Tags: BankTracker, failed banks, FDIC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Maxine Waters, MSNBC, OneUnited, TARP

An analysis by the Workshop's BankTracker has revealed the bank at the center of a House ethics investigation of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters was, at the time of its rescue, the weakest to receive fundsfrom the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program. The analysis is based on public federal financial reports.

Wendell Cochran found that in spite of its weak financial health OneUnited Bank of Boston received $12.1 million from the Treasury Department in December 2008. To date, the money has not been repaid.

Officials of OneUnited did not respond to Cochran's requests for an interview.

The investigation also found that OneUnited is one of only a few banks to be under a federal supervisory enforcement order at the time it received TARP funding.

Waters, a Democrat from Los Angeles, is currently embroiled in a House ethics investigation for allegedly setting up a meeting between regulators and bank officials to talk about the effects of the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on OneUnited. Her husband served on the bank board and was a shareholder.

The Ethics Committee alleges that Waters helped set up the meeting to protect her own financial interests. Waters denies the charges.

Documents provided to the Workshop after a Freedom of Information Act request show several members of Congress asked the Treasury Department to consider TARP investments for particular banks. But the documents do not contain any mention of OneUnited, nor any correspondence from Waters to the department about OneUnited or any other bank.

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